Japan Media Arts Festival  
22nd

Art Division

New Face Award

watage

Media installation

(euglena) [Japan]

Outline

An interactive installation using naturally-generated power rather than man-made sources like electricity. Dandelion fluff (watage in Japanese) soaked in water to form drop-like shapes, untreated fluff, and so on serve as modules, bonded with liquid paste to be reconstructed. The fluff sways in response to viewers’ breath or movement, even in the absence of breeze, immaculately revalidating the viewer’s own existence by making their influence on surroundings visible without use of technology. Using its surrounding environment to send off its seeds, the dandelion has achieved a lightness and form in its fluff specialized to the purpose and sprouts up each year no matter how the world may change. Having been drawn into the quietly-paced world of plants, the artist looked to dandelion fluff for a new form of expression able to hold its own against showy, rapidly-evolving technological expression.

Support: Art & Media Course Department of Information Design Tama Art University

Reason

While this may differ from the artist’s own way of thinking, what is vital in this work is not the lithe flexibility of nature with its ability to stand in opposition to man-made technology. The dynamic dome forms that fleetingly take shape here could perhaps be attained through the use of technology as well, and conversely, one might even contend that the artist’s sensibility that shines through in the work in glimpses is itself something man-made. It is not there that the main point is to be found. What we have been shown in this work is the sense of potential inherent in the power of this artist capable of presenting—with an exquisite sense of balance—the technology of nature and the nature of technology alike. That power has the capacity to guide viewers toward the fundamental question of what life is. (AKIBA Fuminori)

back to top